Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back 2 School

Parents & Guardians it is that time of year! As an educator this is a "happy" stressful time.  My true favorite time of the year is the 1st Day of School!  The lead up is a little stressful as we work on getting things ready.

As a parent this time of year can be mixed.  For some, the thought of sending their baby off to school for the first time is very unnerving.  For others September 3rd can't get here quick enough.

I'm fortunate enough to see several perspectives.  As a parent of two boys I have many days where I'm ready to boot them out the door!  I also have days where I don't want them to go back.  I'm enjoying our evening rounds of golf and warm summer days on the lake.  These are the times that I cherish.  I also have the perspective that my two boys are going to be entering into a whole new world. My oldest will be in the middle school and my youngest is now at Warner!  This is exciting and stressful at the same time. 

It's nearly mid-August and families are planning last minute vacations, campouts and trips.  These should be enjoyable and relaxing.  I did want to offer a few tips or suggestions to help you with these last few weeks before we begin school:

#1 Be Patient!  

Your child is likely showing some signs of anxiousness.  This is completely normal. We as educators see similar behaviors towards the end of the school year.  Try to find a blend of new and fun activities along with simple routine procedures.

#2 Try to find something "new" for your child to start school with.

In no way am I recommending that you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on various items.  My simple belief is that kids, like adults, love to have something to hang their hat on.  A new backpack, new shoes, or a first day of school outfit.  These simple things will give your child a boost and add to their self-esteem.

#3 Practice!

The return of school usually means after school athletics or weekend sporting events.  Try to put your child in a spot to succeed.  Go out and practice the activity, get some fresh air and make it fun!

#4 Get back to Routines

I have a middle schooler now and I'm dreading the 6:15am wake-up.  I know he will struggle with this. It is important as the parent to begin preparing your child for the early wake-ups and consistent bed times.  I'm not suggesting to send your children to bed at 8pm in the summer, but some nightly routines will benefit your child.  As the parent, do your child a to them each night!

#5 Learn as a Family!

I used to sit down and force my kids to read in the summer.  I also gave them workbooks and made them do 1-2 pages a day.  They hated this.  Truth is I just didn't want them to lose any knowledge.  In hindsight the best way to learn in the summer is to make it a family activity.  Play a board game that involves math.  Something like Yatze or Monopoly.  Teach your child to play chess to get them thinking strategy.  There are lots of ways to keep your child sharp that will be fun for the whole family. Learning should be enjoyable, not dreaded.

Last but not least, try to make it a point to attend your child's back to school open house.  This is important for everyone.  It allows for teachers to put a face to a name, it allows students to socialize and relax.  It also allows parents to connect and stay involved.

Finally, take advantage of these last few weeks.  Take pictures to remember the good times and end summer vacation on a high note!

Articles Worth Reading:

Fear of the First Step  by @Joesanfelippofc

A mile wide & an inch deep  by @benjamingilpin

Videos Worth Watching:

Key to success is grit (6 min)

Tech Tips for parents (4 min)

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